Record number of inmates of the end of the week in the prisons of québec

News 12 December, 2017
  • Archival Photo Daniel Mallard
    In September 2016, the québec ombudsman pointed out that the detention centres were poorly adapted to accommodate the detainees intermittent.

    Kathryne Lamontagne

    Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:00

    Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:00

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    A record number of inmates of the end of the week needs to fit into the gymnasiums of prisons in quebec, which are far from having the necessary space to accommodate these offenders.

    The number of people sentenced to serve their sentence, which is discontinuously increased from 5564 in 2014-2015, 6361, in 2016-2017, according to data provided by the department of public Safety (see box).

    “All the weekends “, the offenders who come to prison Talbot in Sherbrooke housed in the gymnasium and ” sleep on mattresses put on the floor “, one can read in a request for access to the information obtained by our parliamentary Bureau. Same scenario at the Bordeaux jail in Montreal, where about 150 “intermittent” are the weekend.

    The gyms are not enough sometimes not to accommodate the customer surplus which must find refuge in ” other places in the establishment “, confirms the ministry. Of the seasonal workers are also forced by time to serve their sentence in cells of the palace of justice, lack of space at the prison, reveals the Syndicat des agents de la paix en services correctionnels du Québec.

    The situation is ” problematic “, confirms the president Mathieu Lavoie. “It is a concern, it no longer has a place, he laments. And it is the regular customers that scoop, it increases the tension because it decreases the activities on the weekends. “


    Because they come and go regularly to the prison, the intermittents must be isolated from the regular customers account into account the risk of intrusion and smuggling of narcotics or illegal objects. In the absence of sectors of record in more than half of the institutions, said Mr. Lavoie, the gym is the ” solution to use to ensure the security “.

    “You’d be surprised how someone can become a container to be human,” he says. Even if they are strip searched. There is no X-ray machine to pass one after the other. “

    An increase in ” important “

    The department of public Safety confirms the increase in “significant” in the number of intermittents. By e-mail, the spokesperson Olivier Cantin advance, that the prisons in quebec have about 400 seats – including the mattress in the gym – to accommodate approximately 600 intermittents which pass simultaneously in these establishments every weekend.

    Mr. Cantin has meant that the department could review the “calling of certain sectors” of the prison according to ” the evolution of the occupancy rate of available places by the people who are serving their sentence in a continuous manner and those that are serving discontinuous “.

    — With the collaboration of Marie-Christine Trottier

    Number of inmates intermittent

    • 2014-2015: 5564
    • 2015-2016: 5828
    • 2016-2017: 6361